- The creator of the Roccbox portable pizza oven, Gozney, is expanding to Australia.
- In two hours, the company achieved £1.2 million (A$2.2 million) in funding for its expansion plans.
- Gozney is backed by Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Instagram Co-Founder Mike Krieger.
The portable, personal pizza oven Roccbox, created by British oven company Gozney, is available in Australia after a wildly successful -- and super fast -- crowdfunding campaign.
Gozney, which is backed by high-profile investor Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger and has Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson as one of its famous advocates, recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube to raise funds to expand into Australia and for new product development. It aimed to reach £500,000 but within two hours, but the figure quickly climbed to £1.2 million (A$2.2 million).
Krieger said in a statement, “When I learnt Gozney were seeking investment I decided to back them as I feel they have amazing global growth potential.”
The growth of Gozney, a British wood and gas oven manufacturer, was boosted by the 2016 release of Roccbox, described as the world’s first portable fire and stone oven that can cook pizza in 90 seconds. The oven can use either a wood or gas burner and can reach temperatures of 500 degrees celsius. It is made of several layers of steel, has an insulated jacket to absorb and retain heat, and has a stone floor. In Australia, the pizza oven will cost you a cool $899 and includes free shipping.
Over the past two years, Gozney has sold 21,000 Roccboxes across 30 countries.
Earlier this year, Wired reviewed the Roccbox, saying it is "too much for a backyard pizza chef". “It’s just too expensive and heavy,” author Adrienne So wrote. While Serious Eats called it the best standalone outdoor pizza oven, with the only negative listed as its price tag.
Gozney founder and CEO, Tom Gozney believes Australia’s love of outdoor dining makes it an ideal market for pizza ovens. Australia represents a major market for the company, with 71% of households in the country having a barbecue while only 6% own a pizza oven.
“Our vision is to bring people together to share unique cooking and dining experiences,” he said in a statement. “We've reached an exciting juncture in this journey and are excited to deliver the next stage of growth for the business.”
Gozney is also happy with the response the company has received from its crowdfunding campaign so far. “The fact that every single investor understands and supports our vision for Gozney is very special and we’re incredibly thankful for their support," Gozney said.
“The team was confident that we’d reach our funding target, but the speed in which it was achieved has been something else.”
Gozney began in 2010 as The Stone Bake Oven Company, releasing a range of precast stone ovens that once overtook sales of Jamie Oliver Ovens in the commercial market, according to The Telegraph. The company later established Gozney Professional Ovens, which produced wood and gas fired stone ovens, before consolidating all its lines under the one ‘Gozney’ name in 2018.
It's doubtful a summer pizza sizzle will take the place of a summer sausage sizzle in Australia, but at least someone is having a red hot go.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Richard Branson is an investor in Gozney. He is, in fact, an advocate and customer of the product.